, pub-8985115814551729, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Free Printable Lesson Plans: kids books
Showing posts with label kids books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids books. Show all posts

More YA literature and kids books on girl power for Women's History Month

Hello my friends of this blog on free printable lesson plans from the Omschool (Omi's homeschool)! Teacher Omi (grama) here with another list of YA literature and kids books on girl power for Women's History Month. When I was a kid and teen, literature was my lifeline, social media and therapy! There's a word for this: bibliotherapy. My role models came from strong female characters. The term "girl power" wasn't a thing yet, but I think it stems in part from many of the girl protagonists featured in these books. 

The most important thing about these girls and women is that they are 3D, realistic, relatable and fallible. They aren't cardboard Disney princesses, helpless handwringers or male dependents that peopled so many books of the time. They interact with men. But they are higher power or self-reliant. They break glass ceilings and defy expectations. I know that now, this may sound like dated ERA rhetoric, but believe me, it was crucial then and necessary now. Because expectations woman were hypocritical, shaming and punitive. 

We had to be beautiful but humble, work like mules and be paid about as much, achieve the impossible but not outshine men. We worked in factories to support families when our men couldn't or wouldn't, but were blamed for taking men's jobs. And then we couldn't vote or own property. We had to take care of our children but not have a say in their lives. The list and I, could go on all day. So here are YA and kids books featuring young women and girls, existing within these expectations but yet rising above them. 

Where the Lilies Bloom I'm known for crying over stories, even Pooh Bear and this YA book, was one of the tear-jerkiest. It explores the lives of an orphaned family of rural Appalachian children who find creative ways to avoid being separated. Second oldest, Mary Call Luther takes on the matriarch (and patriarch) role at just 14. 

The Boxcar Children You haven't lived till you've read the story of four also orphaned kids who make a home for themselves in an abandoned train boxcar. It's maybe a smidge idealized but the lessons learned on sticking together are worth it. Eldest sister Jessie is our featured she-ro, but little Violet gives a lot in her own way too. 

Me Too also by Bill and Vera Cleaver. A sister rails against having to basically parent her special needs sister. But she also fights hard for her. It's got a lot of mostly-recent negative reviews, but that's because many in younger generations can't wrap their minds around issues and situations that many of us in this time period lived every day: parentification, rabid cruelty, discrimination and anger with no channels. 

I'll be sharing more YA literature and kids books on girl power for Women's History Month as they surface in my memory! Love you all and a special hugs and kisses sent to my lovely daughters, Emma and Molly, daughter-in-law Samantha and grand-daughters Lola, Juno and Flora. You rock my world. 

10 Classic Kids Books with Realistic She-ro Girl Protagonists for Women's History Month

Hello my dear friends of this blog on free printable lesson plans! Teacher Omi here from the Omschool. Today, March 1, begins Women's History Month so we're going to look at 10 classic kids books with realistic girl protagonists. These young ladies will make you laugh, cry, cheer and most importantly resonate. 

First, a bit of back story. I'm 59 years old and I was lucky to be a kid during a great literary revolution in young adult literature. Beginning in the mid-ish 60s, youth, YA and teen literature was turning a corner away from the more cardboard hero/heroine characters to much  more realistic, identifiable, fallible 3D characters. And I, being so fully human, very awkward and out of step, embraced, this change with open arms. 

Because let's face it, the Disney princesses, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Nurse Cherry Ames, Trixie Borden, Nancy Drew, even the March sisters of Little Women, are all much larger, and well, gooder, than life. They are poised and pretty.  They make mistakes but they never fail or fall. They are the toad-kissers but never the toad. This was difficult for a little girl who always felt fat, warty and klutzy. 

So the "heroines" in my book list are believable. Most of these works of classic children's literature date from my childhood and teen years. 

Sam, Bangs and Moonshine This book is an excellent resource for helping kids deal with grief. Sam has just lost her mother and she's developed the habit of making up stories to cope (denial). Her lies cause some real problems. But what makes her a she-ro, in my book, is the way she recognizes and works to fix the damage she's caused. 

The Pigman This one is definitely not for kids under about 13 (take this from someone who read it at 10). Lorraine and John both live in dysfunctional situations and find friendship in each other and an elderly man. What happens is very upsetting but it's real and what I like about Lorraine is that despite her cruel upbringing, she very maturely takes responsibility and doesn't blame anyone else. 

Harriet the Spy So Harriet isn't your average kid detective. She's a snoop and a bit of a stalker. But she's just so darn clever about how she does it, with all the little gadgets she invents. I couldn't help but admire her, especially being weaned on Nancy Drew, who if I'm honest, is incredibly annoying. Nancy is a busybody snoop too. But it never backfires like it does with Harriet and usually in real life. 

Honestly, Katie John! (Mary Calhoun, author of lots of good kids books) I seriously love this series! Just look at her facial expression! Katie John gets into so many mishaps all with the best of intentions. She's not beautiful or a star pupil,  just a plain old kid and so relatable. Her ways of shirking work, helping her parents ready their new boarding house is hilarious. 

Katie Kittenheart
 (Miriam Mason) Hands-down, my favorite book from around age 6. From forgetting to dress up for picture day, to nearly incinerating her kitten, to single-handedly getting 40 kids through a flood, Katie is a delight. 

Velma (Scooby-Doo) Can we just agree that without brains-behind-the-outfit Velma, Mystery Inc. kids would have been gunned down, drowned or eaten alive in every episode? Velma shows that you can be smart and cute even without red hair and a scarf! 

Laura Ingalls Little House on the Prairie series I identified so with Laura. She is always the one in trouble. She can never match up to perfect little blonde Mary. She hates her brown hair, Sunday clothes and having to sit still and quiet. She's a little mouthy. But when push comes to shove, like in The Long Winter, Laura proves that she is the bravest of all! 

The Cat Who Went to Heaven The she-ro in this story is a sweet, self-sacrificing little cat who gives everything to help her friends. I cried my eyes out at 8, reading this story under the covers one night. 

I Was A 98 pound Duckling What resonates in this story is the challenge of those bumpy tween years. So I was "too chubby" and this character is "too thin" we struggled with the same issues, feeling (and sometimes being made to feel) ugly. 

The Doll of Lilac Valley Another one I cried myself to sleep over, what got me is how sensitive and empathetic Laurie is. When  she loses her favorite doll, her kindly (but non-child-aware) caregivers present her with one the complete antithesis of the other.  But the universe rewards her gentleness. 

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? The great thing about this book and Margaret the main character is that they talk about the unmentionable...getting your period. Regardless, of time or age, all girls have to deal. Most of us felt like freaks. We hated it. Thank God for Judy Blume who at least normalized it. 

These girl protagonists may read like just kids but that's what makes them she-ros. Every girl is in my book! Most of these kids books are available on Thriftbooks or Amazon. Happy reading and HappyyWomen's History Month! 

Bibliotherapy with Vintage Children's Literature: Lesson Plans Using Old Kids' Books

Greetings from the Omschool! Teacher Omi (grama) here with lesson plans using vintage children's literature. I was an avid reader pretty much from day 1. I grew up being read to, reading and and then reading to others, as a parent, teacher and grandparent. I have a huge memory bank and now library of old kids' books from my childhood and earlier.  Here are ways to use vintage children's literature as bibliotherapy. 

First, think back to favorite books from your childhood. If you can't remember the title or author, ask a librarian. This is how I unearthed "Mr. Miacca: An English Folktale (Evaline Ness, 1967). She was able to do a Google search and found it because I vaguely remembered that it was written by the same author as another favorite "Sam, Bangs and Moonshine." Another librarian helped me find my beloved book "The Doll of Lilac Valley." I knew the name but not the author and since it was withdrawn from circulation, it seemed lost in time. Which brought me to the next step. 

Do your own searches with Advanced Google Book Search, or Google Books just Google, using details I recalled from other works of children's literature I'd loved. This is how I found "Walter the Lazy Mouse" (Marjorie Flack, 1937). I'd been read this story at around age 4 and could only remember that it was about a mouse who moves to an island and makes furniture. 

Use picture memories. Many of my earliest books memories are of the illustrations. Before discovering Walter, anyone I'd ask would suggest "Stuart Little." I knew that wasn't the one because I recall the image of Walter making a stick bed and table. My mental image was a little blurred with Stuart Little but when I saw Walter's furniture, the illustrations fit my memory image perfectly. 

Begin (or continue) collecting old kids' books. Through garage sales, library book sales, thrift stores and now Thriftbooks and Amazon, I've amassed over 1,000 kids books, most written in the 1960s or before. Some were from the Little Lending Libraries. I rarely pay more than a buck or two per volume. I've had to pay more for a few of them because of age and the fact that they're collectibles. "Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat" a classic my dad and I both loved, was going for about $50 but finally, I was able to purchase it for $8 at Thriftbooks. 

Find old kids books at Thriftbooks and Amazon. These sources have the best pricing for purchasing used and vintage children's literature.  As part of our travel quest, my husband and I rediscovered Uzbekistan, specifically Tashkent and Samarkand. He'd not heard of these cities but I remembered reading of them at about age 5, in my grandmother's Childcraft series. 

Try to recall as many details as possible. The Childcraft books were a children's encyclopedia set. My husband had not heard of these so I thought maybe I'd gotten the name wrong. All I remembered was that they were white or silver books with a dark red banner. I searched and found that the Children of Many Lands was volume 5 (with the Uzbekistan stories) but the cover didn't look familiar. I kept searching and found that Grandma Langerak had the 1961 collection with the covers exactly as I had remembered. I was able to locate and purchase volume 5. I've not received it yet so I don't know for sure if the stories of Taskent and Samarkand are in it but I will update you!

Keep digging. My husband had a favorite book called "The Big Book of Real Trains" that was lost. It took us awhile to locate, first because he forgot the "real" trains part. Then we discovered it had about 6 editions as trains changed over the years. We finally located one based on his memory of the cover. The illustrations were close but not exact. So we'll keep pursuing till we get the correct volume. 

Be prepared for some culture shock. I'll talk more about this is upcoming posts. Just to summarize, your beloved kids books will likely contain some things that might be uncomfortable or even offensive to you now.  Depending on time period, many kids books contained racial profiling, cultural appropriation (or misappropriation) and inappropriate depictions. I recently found a recording of one of my favorite albums "Aunt Theresa Please Tell Me a Story."  I cringed at how missionaries were portrayed as so superior and condescending to those they were missioning to. The racism, bigotry, inaccuracies and Messiah Complex in "The Stick of Wood That Talked" was rampant. 

Stone Soup lesson plans, activities and printables, plus Friendship Soup recipes

 Looking for interactive, hands-on activities to revive a winter weary preschool or elementary age curriculum? How about a unit on "Stone Soup?" Here are free printable Stone Soup lesson plans, activities, coloring pages, crafts and recipes for Friendship Soup from the beloved children's literature classic. 

There are several versions of Stone Soup, my favorite being the Marcia Brown Caldecott one (shown above). In this story, stingy villagers learn the value of collaboration and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts when three hungry soldiers con them into to sharing their hoarded food to make a group soup. 

Begin by reading Stone Soup aloud. Children should predict what will happen using HOTS (higher order thinking skills). Kids will love the ah-ha moment when they realize, (before the greedy villagers do) that the hoarders have just been tricked into parting with food they lied about not having. 

Next, assign kids character parts and retell Stone Soup as a  play. Let children design costumes and create props and scenery from the recycle bin. Recycled cardboard fridge boxes make awesome backdrops which children can paint. Present this as a play to other students. 

After the play, serve Stone Soup (which has now become Friendship Soup) that you have made as a class. Allow students to prep vegetables or simply bring canned vegetables to reheat. Children might also prep vegetables and home. Teacher should probably bring the cooked meat if you're going to include it. Also, provide washed stones to use in soup (large ones so no one accidentally swallows). Simmer ingredients in a crockpot while doing other activities. 

Write Stone Soup recipes for process writing lesson plans. Ingredients include: cooked meat, milk, carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, onions, salt, pepper and stones. Encourage kids into writing creatively to produce funny or silly recipes. Create cartoon strips or story boards. Make a Stone Soup word wall, using words from the story. Cooking with children and writing and following recipes make excellent math lesson plans. 

For science lesson plans, explore food groups or edible plant parts (carrots and potatoes--roots, onions--bulb, celery--stem and leaves, cabbage--leaves, pepper--seeds). Explore raw vegetable colors, textures, and structure. Draw plant diagrams. 

Best bibliotherapy books for kids on bullying prevention

Kids going back to school need more than just a notebook and a #2 sharpened pencil. They need to learn safety skills and essential to the toolkit are ways to deal with bullying. First, it's important to understand bullying. The bully stereotype is the Charles Atlas ad, where the big guy kicks sand in the little guy's face while the dismayed girl looks on. Bullying prevention was stereotypical too. "Frail, puny" boys were exhorted to build up their muscles, take on the bully and impress the girl. 

Dubious motive aside, it wrongly implies that "might makes right." Coping with bullies is about inner fortitude not brute strength. Even the term bullying prevention can be misleading. It suggests that the bullied are responsible for making bullies stop bullying. But bullying happens to people in all sizes, colors, abilities and orientations.  Kids don't do anything to make themselves targets. Bullies bully because they can. True bullying prevention tells bullies they can't and punishes them when they do. Having said that, it doesn't hurt to be prepared. 

 Here's a list of children's literature books on bullying to teach kids what bullying is, what it feels like and what to do if they are bullied. Bullying prevention happens in clever, avant-garde ways. Through gentle bibliotherapy for kids, children see bullying for the cowardice it is. These children's literature books on bullying help kids laugh at bullies and diffuse the pain and get past victimization to the find the chutzpah they need to deal with their bullies.

"Hooway for Wodney Wat" by Helen Lester. Poor timid Wodney Wat (Rodney Rat) can barely "squeak clearly" to his friends, let alone to big mean Camilla Capybara. But when the mouse-sized hero is forced to take on Camilla, rodent to rodent, everyone at P.S.182 School for Rodents hears the bully buster loud and clear. This is one of the most endearing children's literature books on bullying ever.

 "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" by Eugene Trivizas. This fractured fairy tale gets my vote for funniest of the children's literature books on bullying. And therein lies the bibliotherapy for kids. There's a lesson to be learned when three gentle, peace-loving little wolves teach one pyromaniac pig bully to dance. 

"A Bargain for Francis" by Russel and Lillian Hoban. The redoubtable Francis badger brings off a scathingly brilliant coup over her devious, double-dealing frenemy Thelma. Bully buster Francis gets the prize for best plot twist in children's literature books on bullying. Here are realistic free printable coloring pages of badgers for kids to enjoy. 

"Ira Sleeps Over" by Bernard Waber. Ira loves his teddy Ta-Ta. When he's invited stay the night at his friend Reggie's house, his bullying big sister convinces him that "Reggie will laugh" at boys with bears. But Ira and Ta-Ta have the last laugh on sister. 

"The Bully of Barkham Street" by Mary Stolz is a tender, heart-jerking look at how a bully is grown. It's bullying prevention from the roots up. In this bibliotherapy for kids, children may find themselves sympathizing with the bully. 

"Mouse Soup" by Arnold Lobel. Fox wants to make soup out of Mouse, but Mouse pulls a Scheherazade and makes mincemeat of Fox. Children will howl as the bully gets his comeuppance.

 "The House on East 88th Street" by Bernard Waber teaches people not to judge a bully or a bully buster by his cover. You couldn't ask for a kinder crocodile than Lyle, but the neighbor cat Loretta is terrified that he's a bully. Read how Lyle befriends the fractious feline. For more bibliotherapy for kids, read Lyle's other adventures in diplomacy too. Here are some free printable crocodile coloring pages just for fun. 

"Thomas the Tank Engine" by Rev. W. Awdry. A little engine is alternately bullied then the bully. Will rascally Thomas ever learn that bigger isn't always better? Kids learn many important lessons watching cheeky Thomas epically fail and then rethink his choices. Here are some free printable Thomas the Tank Engine activities. 

"Emil and the Detectives" by Erich Kastner. Young Emil is stalked by some very fierce men with nasty intention, but this sensible, prescient but boy takes them on and saves the day. 

"Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberley. In what might be the most interactive bibliotherapy for kids (and a beloved favorite of our daughter Emma and her nephew Lucian), children take down a monster of a bully one piece at at time! Read these books for kids to explore creative bully buster ideas. 

Best wishes for a wonderful 22-23 school year!